“You cannot judge what should bring others joy, and others cannot judge what should bring you joy”- Alan Cohen
*It’s been awhile since I’ve written a personal blog as opposed to an informative travel blog of somewhere I’ve been…. thought it was time.
What makes one person happy in life, does not have to make the person next to them happy in life. And we, as humans, get to work on ourselves to obtain those things that do make us happy as individuals. I recently wrote a post that stated “If you’re not happy, start over and rebuild. It won’t be easy at all. It may scare you, break you, make you broke, make you cry… but the tough journey to happiness is better than the pitiful acceptance of unhappiness.”
This is so true for me. I am broke (for those of you who haven’t followed me this year, I quit my full-time job last fall to pursue traveling), I often feel discouraged, frustrated, lost, and don’t know if this will ever work out for me.. but I keep pushing on in hopes that it will. My posts and social media may seem like traveling comes easy and my life is all unicorns and butterflies, but trust me, it is far from it. I have given up buying literally anything except travel related things (but I’m ok with that, it’s my choice after all). That means wearing the same faded worn clothes I’ve owned for the last 5+ years (no shopping), painting my own nails (or realistically just not painting them at all) instead of a salon, skipping nights out with friends that I would just waste money on alcohol, downgrading the cable package (that I should really just cancel completely), and honestly having an empty refrigerator some of the days. If you want me to be really real for a second, I’m currently eating an english muffin that expired a month ago for breakfast, because it’s all I have.
The god honest truth is, I have never paid a bill late in my life until I started traveling… but somehow or another they always get paid. Others may find this “not smart”, “crazy”, “not a fun way to live”, or might just say “I’d rather be rich then travel when I have the money to do so”. But guess what, I DON’T CARE. Obviously it’s my active choice, and luckily it doesn’t have to make sense to you.
So then I often get asked how I afford travel then. That too, is budgeted. (Refer to the specific sites I use for hotels and flights here). For my upcoming trip to Ireland next week, I’m staying in a lot AirBNBs, some as low as $30/night with shared bathrooms. Is this the most comfortable choice? No. Would this be “good enough” for some other people? No. But am I traveling to spend time in a fancy hotel room? NO. I am going to see the country, the landscape, the coasts, the wildlife, the backroads, the experiences (good and bad), and most importantly I’m going because I’m addicted to how I feel while traveling. [Sidenote: Of course, I definitely hope to one day stay in nice places, that is definitely what I’m working toward! But for now sacrifices are being made to reach my future travel blogging #goals #sponsors #brands]
Why do I do it? I’m doing it because traveling is my genuine happiness. My escape to be me. My way to feel alive. The feeling I get while traveling solo, road tripping roads I haven’t been on before, or reaching the summit of a tough hike, is something I can’t put into words.. I just know I feel so fucking happy doing it. Knowing I can do these things on my own makes me feel proud of myself, accomplished, and just plain excited. Finding the lesser known places, seeing new landscape, new wildlife, new views, new roads, new trails, new adventures, and all of mother natures creations.. there is something about those things that make me feel most happy to be alive. Even though I often end up saying “how the hell did I get myself into this situation”, it is when I am wandering around new towns or on new trails with a camera around my neck, a hiking backpack on my back, and a bit of uncertainty in my head… it is then that I truly forget about all of the negative things in my life.. I feel free, I feel me, I feel happy.
To anyone reading this, I hope you are doing something you’re passionate about. Whether it’s a working mom, stay at home mom, traveling nurse, ER nurse, a food photographer, a wedding photographer, a scuba diving journalist, a soap maker, a reindeer herder, I don’t give a damn what it is.. as long as it’s YOU. And if you’re not sure what you’re passionate about, reflect on what you find yourself thinking about most often, or what you do most often without even realizing it. Think about your recurring thoughts, your daydreams, your wishes, your consistent desires etc. What would you do if failure wasn’t an option? Is there anything you’ve done or anywhere you’ve been that you truly loved and know you’d want to spend more time doing or going to? What has made you consistently feel happy? Chances are those are the things you want to be or do the most. If you know what you’re passionate about it, NEVER STOP DOING IT/WORKING TOWARD OBTAINING IT.
The most important thing to remember about all of this is: what brings joy to you doesn’t have to bring joy to the person sitting to you… BUT, putting time into your own joys and passions will ultimately result in your own consistent happiness. Find what makes you YOU. A happy life is a life well lived.
That’s all 🙂
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma- which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary”- Steve Jobs
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